|Amasa Ndofirepi, University of Johannesburg|
In pursuit of the foregoing, is this what recent student protests in South African universities meant when, in their Fees must fall campaign, they referred to “a lack of African content in the curriculum?” Could it be one way of speaking out against exclusionary, elite-dominated university curriculum policy makers bent to eliminate the majority from the theatre of recognition of other knowledge producers? Although some may argue that students are following blindly the politics of knowledge, dos Santos, (2004) would defend their actions as "resistance against hegemonic globalisation” which place western scientistic knowledge forms and sources on pole positions in the hierarchical knowledge pyramid. This view endorses the presence of what dos Santos refers to as the “monocultures of knowledge" (ibid). But are there some (K)nowledges that reign supreme above other (k)nowledges? Yet another pedestrian question could be: do university students know what they are supposed to learn and know ahead of their lecturers as the former attempt to separate the different forms and sources of knowledge? All these epistemological questions, I argue, revolve around the politics of knowledge and the puzzle of whose knowledge matters in the African university in the 21st century. I find the readings of dos Santos’ works appropriate to the debates revolving around the decolonisation of knowledges in the African university as long as proponents are constantly reminding themselves that Africa, as a continent and the institutions therein, are circumscribed by the global knowledge economy which is difficult to resist and shake off in the 21st century.